Joe Sumsion

Senior Lecturer in Acting

School of Journalism, Media and Performance

Media Factory, ME127

+44 (0) 1772 89 3249

jrsumsion@uclan.ac.uk

Joe joined UCLan in 2017 after a thirty year directing career in the theatre industry. Joe teaches across all three years on the BA Hons Acting degree. He currently leads work on Shakespeare with first years, theatre industry work with second years and annually directs one of the Graduate Productions with third years.

Full Profile

Before joining UCLan Acting in 2017, Joe worked extensively as a freelance theatre director for, amongst others, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Nottingham Playhouse, Manchester Youth Theatre and M6 Theatre Company. 

In 2001, Joe was appointed Artistic Director of Action Transport, a young people’s theatre company in Ellesmere Port, going on to create productions in the UK and internationally with Vulavulani Theatre Company, South Africa.  In 2008, Joe joined The Dukes in Lancaster as Artistic Director, leading the creative development of the company and directing many productions including The Hobbit, winner of the 2016 UK Theatre Best Production for Children and Young People Award.

Joe has worked extensively with playwrights.  In 2007 he edited The Skeleton Key, a book revealing the secrets of writing outstanding plays for and with young people, and he has twice received the Writers Guild of Great Britain Award for Encouraging New Writing.  He is currently a board member of the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal and maintains strong connections with the theatre industry.

Publications

Editor, The Skeleton Key: Unlocking the secrets of writing outstanding plays for and by young people. 2007, Action Transport Theatre Company, ISBN978-0-9554918-0-1

Conferences

  • 2015: Speaker and panellist, Cutting Edge: Theatre in Hard Times national conference - British Theatre Consortium
  • 2013, 2014: Lancashire Arts Exchange, Keynote speaker
  • 2007: European Theatre Café, Unicorn, London - panellist
  • 2005: TMA/SOLT/itc run Theatre 2005 Conference – panellist and Independent Theatre Council run `Passport to International Touring’ – presenting on international partnership working.
  • 2004: UK Trade and Investment: exporting theatre internationally.

Teaching activities

  • He currently leads work on Shakespeare with first years, theatre industry work with second years and annually directs one of the Graduate Productions with third years.
  • Joe is Academic Advisor for 2nd Year Acting students 

Memberships

  • Board Member – Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal